Small cell lung cancer survival rates by stage
Survival rates are often used by doctors as a standard way of discussing a person's prognosis (outlook). Some patients may want to know the survival statistics for people in similar situations, while others may not find the numbers helpful, or may even not want to know them. If you do not want to know them, stop reading here and skip to the next section.
The 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after their cancer is diagnosed. Of course, many of these people live longer than 5 years.
To get 5-year survival rates, doctors look at people who were treated at least 5 years ago. Improvements in treatment since then may result in a more favorable outlook for people now being diagnosed with small cell lung cancer.
Five-year relative survival rates (such as the numbers below) compare the survival rates for patients with the cancer to those of people without the cancer. This is a better way to see the impact of cancer on survival.
Survival rates are often based on previous outcomes of large numbers of people who had the disease, but they cannot predict what will happen to any particular person. Knowing the type and the stage of a person's cancer is important in estimating their outlook. But many other factors may also affect a person's outlook, such as how well the cancer responds to treatment and a person's overall health. Even when taking these other factors into account, survival rates are at best rough estimates. Your doctor can tell you how the numbers below may apply to you.
The numbers below are relative survival rates calculated from the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, based on people who were diagnosed with small cell lung cancer between 1988 and 2001.
These survival rates are based on the TNM staging system in use at the time, which has since been modified slightly for the latest version. Because of this, the survival numbers may be slightly different for the latest staging system.
5-year Relative Survival Rate
Last Medical Review: 03/05/2012
Last Revised: 01/17/2013